Driving over the windswept, winding roads from Keswick to Buttermere in deep winter and the deep dark with the rain lashing, felt a little out there. I'd taken a minor road and ended up having to open and close gates over cattle grids, rushing back to my car as quickly as I could. The National Trust provided directions to the bothy, but that ended in a tiny off-road track through the woods. 

It was a welcome sight to see a little light and the old stone bothy, with my friend Jenni waiting in the doorway. We soon had the wood-burning stove going, and were joined by Jo, who we met at the lovely Kirkstile Inn. 

Over the weekend we swam in Crummock Water in the hail, walked around Buttermere in the gloaming, and woke up to an early swim in Loweswater and warmed ourselves by the woodburning stove.